Christmas and New Year festive fun

Tempting as it may be to curl up in front of the television with a tin of Roses, there is no excuse not to get out for some healthy fresh air this Christmas and New Year.

Tempting as it may be to curl up in front of the television with a tin of Roses, there is no excuse not to get out for some healthy fresh air this Christmas and New Year.

A plethora of outdoor charity events are planned in Laois, starting on Christmas Day, with Goal Mile events at Port GAA Club at 11am, and Oakvale Woods in Stradbally at 10am.

St Stephen’s day is filled with activities. Another Goal Mile charity walk will set off from Barrowhouse GAA Field at 11.30am while the popular Clonaslee Laois Hospice walk will take place regardless of weather conditions. Last year this raised nearly €30,000, despite sub zero temperatures.

Chose from two routes, both starting and finishing at the Community Centre, with hot refreshments afterwards. The 12km walk through the Slieve Blooms begins at 12 noon, and takes up to four hours, with warm refreshments midway. The 4km walk begins at 1pm, and takes in Brittas Lake. Dress warmly, with stout walking shoes and ainjackets, Donations welcome on the day. Timahoe locals will also be fundraising for Laois Hospice, with a sponsored Run/Walk/Crawl around the back avenue at 12 noon.

Clough Charity cyclists will meet at 12.30pm and cycle to Ballacolla (weather permitting) and back to Mary’s Bar in Clough, for a family evening with live music and refreshments. The event is in aid of the local St Vincent de Paul.

Ballyroan Abbey GAA club have organised a sponsored 4 mile run, a 5k walk and a cycle which will be headed off by the local High Nelly Cycle club at 12 noon from the community hall. Refreshments available in the community hall afterwards. Local Intermediate, juvenile and ladies football players will also be togging out. €10 entry fee.

Portlaoise Athletics Club are holding a fun run in aid of the Cuisle Centre, again on St Stephen’s Day. Held in St Fintan’s Hospital Field, there will be a four mile race for runners consisting of 2 laps or 1 lap for walkers. No entry fee, donations welcome. Meet at 10am, register at 10.30pm and finish at noon.

Durrow Development Forum invite you to get your walking boots on for a three to four hour walk on the Leafy Loop. Meet in the square at 12 noon on St Stephen’s Day with donations on the day to Harps Camogie Club training fund.

On New Year’s Day, Ballacolla Village will again host the “Off The Beaten Track” Walk, with Pony and Trap and Vintage display. Supporting the Senior Citizens fund, all sponsorship cards returned will enter a prize draw on the day. Walkers, pony owners, vintage owners and clubs and High Nelly clubs are all welcome. Starting at 2pm, with entertainment and refreshments at the finish in Ballacolla Village.

Over in Timahoe, the incoming GAA President, Liam O’Neill, accompanied by Johnny Dalton, will lead off the 10th annual sponsored walk for the Irish Wheelchair Association on New Year’s Day, starting at 1pm from the village green. Contributions welcome on the day.